I Love Saturdays y Domingos Mini-Unit
Patricia Langlois, Reading Specialist
Karen Rubin, Teacher, 1st grade
Holyoke Public Schools, Western Massachusetts
Mini-Unit plan created July 2016
This mini-unit was created for a first grade class with approximately 22 students. All the students are from an inner city community, Holyoke, MA. The demographics below are from 2015-2016:
First Language Not English: 43.7% of School, 46.3% of District, 19.0% of State
English Language Learner: 27.7% of School, 24.6% of District, 9.0% of State
Students With Disabilities: 27.1% of School, 23.9% of District, 17.2% of State
High Needs: 83.2% of School, 79.6% of District, 43.5% of State
Economically Disadvantaged: 68.3% of School, 67.6% of District, 27.4% of State
There will be a letter going home at the beginning of this mini-unit to introduce the families to the story, I Love Saturdays y domingos by Alma Flor Ada. We will be asking families to discuss their family history and their ethnic backgrounds. They will be asked to supply pictures of their grandparents which will be used for student writing/drawing activities. Teachers will also be looking for family members to volunteer for multiple opportunities throughout the unit.
Students will be able to:
- Retell a story, including key details, and demonstrate an understanding of the central message.
- Describe characters and major events in story, using key details.
- Use techniques of analyzing books using critical thinking.
- Identify words and phrases in a story that suggests feelings or appeal to the senses.
- Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters or events.
- Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of the character in the story.
- Write a narrative in which they recount two or more appropriate sequence events, including some details regarding what happened, and use temporal words to signal event order.
- Able to participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers.
- Recognize family and linguistic diversity.
- Name the relationships and linguistic practices in their families.
Title: I Love Saturdays y domingos
Author: Alma Flor Ada
Alma Flor Ada is an award-winning Cuban-American author of children’s books, poetry, and novels. She was born in Camagüey, Cuba on January 3, 1938. A Professor Emerita at the University of San Francisco, Dr. Ada is recognized for her work promoting bilingual and multicultural education in the United States. Awards: Marta Salotti Gold Medal (Argentina) 1989—Encaje de piedra; Christopher Award 1992—The Gold Coin; Notable Book (National Council for Social Studies/Children's Book Council) —The Gold Coin.
Illustrator: Elivia Savadier
Elivia Savadier has illustrated many books for children, two of which received the Sydney Taylor Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries. No Haircut Today! is the first book she has written and illustrated. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Ms. Savadier lives in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, with her husband and their daughter Sayde.
Elivia Savadier uses watercolors for her illustrations.
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
Genre: Realistic Fiction
The girl in the story is lucky. She spends Saturdays with her English-speaking Grandma and Grandpa and Sundays—los domingos—with Abuelito y Abuelita, who are Mexican American. She plays with their pets, visits the circus and the pier, and hears stories about her grandparents’ childhoods. On her birthday, they surprise her with special gifts: a doll from Grandma and Grandpa, a dollhouse from Abuelito, and a dress that matches her doll’s dress from Abuelita. Although her grandparents are different in many ways, they share a great love for their granddaughter.
To be completed over multiple days
Book introduction, Whole Book Approach (WBA), Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), and Doors to the World ‘How to Read’ Strategies.
Students will be introduced to the book, I Love Saturdays y domingos by looking at the front cover, back cover, title page, dedication page and copyright date. The class will begin by exploring the front cover. The teacher will ask:
- What do you notice about the illustration on the front cover?
- What do you notice about the characters on the front cover?
- What do you think the story is going to be about?
- What do you think the title of the book means?
Teacher will introduce the students to the story by taking a picture walk discussing the characters and actions in the story. Discussion and noticing the details will be encouraged.
Something that will be pointed out and discussed is how the illustrator uses mostly white pages. There is no setting illustrated. What is the importance of that?
Our thinking is that the illustrator wants you to concentrate solely on what the little girl is doing with her grandparents.
Following the picture walk students will participate in a turn and talk about an activity that they enjoy doing with their grandparent or special older person. They will use the sentence frame: “I like to”… and complete with what they enjoy doing with their grandparents or special older person.
They will then return to their seats to illustrate a picture of that activity. They will write about their illustration.
Students will continue with the book I Love Saturdays y domingos by the teacher conducting a Read Aloud. Teacher models and explicitly teaches strategies used to comprehend text, supporting children’s learning of reading strategies.
The class will stop reading the book and engage in looking closely at both set of grandparents depicted in the story. I have chosen the pictures on pages 2 and 3 to begin my text dependent questions.
- What can you tell me about each set of grandparents in the story?
- How did the author describe each set of grandparents in the story?
- How did we know this?Use evidence in the text.
Continue reading pages 4 – 15, stopping on page 15. “And I hold on …. Soars high in the air.” Asking text dependent questions:
- What did you notice the little girl did with her grandma and grandpa?
- What did you notice the little girl did with her abuelita and abuelito?
- Why do you think the little girl does different things with the each of her grandparents?
Continue reading the next 4 pages and stopping on page 19. “Abuelita feels orgullo, and I feel orgullo, too.”
- What is the importance of the grandparent’s stories?
Finish reading the text. The students will turn and talk about how the little girl feels about her two sets of grandparents. Use the sentence frame, “I think the little girl feels ____ because____.”
The students will return to their seats to complete a two column note about what the little girl does with her grandparents over the weekend.
- What the little girl does with her grandparents on Saturday
- What the little girl does with her grandparents on domingo (Sunday)
The students will come together on the rug with the paper they just completed on what the little girl does with her grandparents and using their examples answer the following text based questions (this is a teacher lead discussion trying to elicit examples from the students):
- “Why do you think the little girl loves Saturdays?”
- “Why do you think the little girl loves domingos?”
Families and Communities Connections:
The teacher will invite parents in to partner read the Spanish text in the book. They will be able to help with comprehension of the text and proper pronunciation of the text. They will be able to participate in the turn and talks and help with students’ writing. The parents and other family members can bring in photographs or other memorabilia of elders in their family.
Drawing Interdisciplinary Opportunities:
Students will be introduced to watercolors and how to use them. They will paint a family portrait in the style of the illustrator Elivia Savadier.
May take multiple days to complete these activities.
Dual language vocabulary in English and Spanish, VTS.
NOTE: you will need a Puerto Rican Spanish speaking and writing adult to help chart vocabulary words.
Teacher will state the objective:
“Today students we will be looking at the pattern of the text in our story, I Love Saturdays y domingos. I want you to be thinking, if you don’t know Spanish what strategies can you use to figure out words?”
Students will listen to the teacher reread the first 5 pages of the story. Stopping at that point they will be asked what pattern did they notice in the text. The teacher will begin to construct a three column chart: English, Mexican Spanish, and Puerto Rican Spanish words. The class will then continue charting different vocabulary words from the text.
While in school students will be asked to write two words that describe something they do over the weekend. For homework students will have families help them translate the words into their native language.
Teacher will state the objective:
“Today students we will be writing like the author Alma Flor Ada. You will use the vocabulary words from your homework in your sentence.”
First the teacher will model using vocabulary words from yesterday’s chart to create a bilingual sentence. The teacher will pick one Puerto Rican Spanish word to write in a sentence. For example: I walked my perro (dog) over the weekend.
Then students will work with a partner to create their own sentence using Puerto Rican Spanish words from the chart.
Finally, students will work with their own translated words to write a sentence on a sentence strip. Use a different writing tool to highlight the Spanish word in their sentences. Possible tools could be: markers, colored pencils, pens, or chalk.
Families and Communities Connections:
Family members will be invited to share a story, rhyme or poem in Spanish. Working with the children, they can try to translate it. Students and family members could act out the story, rhyme or poem that was shared.
Multiple days with an invitation to families for student reading of narratives.
Student as author and illustrator.
Students will look closely at pages 16-19 where the grandparents tell stories of when they were young. The teacher will reread each page and allow for class discussion. Students will be turning and talking and engaging in the following questions:
- Have you met your grandparents or do you know a special older person?
- Where do they live?
- Do you see or talk to them often?
- What do you call them?
- What are some things you do with them?
- What are some things you talk about with them?
- What stories do you know about them when they were young?
- How are these stories similar and/or different from the stories your parents share?
- Why do you think these similarities and differences exist?
Students will have a homework assignment to talk and record information about one grandparent or special older person:
What do you call your grandparent?
Where did your grandparent grow up?
Write a story about a time when your grandparent was young.
- Grandpa tells me….
- Abuelo tells me…
- Grandma tells me….
- Abuela tells me…
After returning their homework assignments, students will begin working on a narrative writing piece in the style of the author Alma Flor Ada. Students will work on this assignment for several days. They will pick certain vocabulary words to feature in Spanish.
Students will be working on illustrations that go with their narrative. They will begin by sketching with pencil. Once their sketch is complete they can add details to their illustration with watercolors.
Families and Communities Connections:
Using the resource bags sent home, families create collages that reflect their special older person or grandparent.
Additional Multimodal Opportunities:
Students can have the opportunity to dramatize their grandparent’s story.
Students can bring in artifacts from their grandparent.
Students can have music from their grandparent’s culture or young adulthood.
Students can make a digital representation of their grandparent’s story.
Summative Learning Experience:
Families will be invited into the classroom for an opportunity to hear the final narratives and view the illustrations.
Option: Record video of students reading their narrative and email to the families.
RL.1.1 Retell a story, including key details, and demonstrate an understanding of the central message.
RL1.3 Describe characters and major events in story, using key details.
RL.1.4 Identify words and phrases in a story that suggests feelings or appeal to the senses.
RL.1.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters or events.
RL.1.9 Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of the character in the story.
W1.3 Write a narrative in which they recount two or more appropriate sequence events, including some details regarding what happened, and use temporal words to signal event order.
- Students can record a narrative from their parents.
- Students can look at other texts that have dual language opportunities.
- Students can write an autobiographical narrative.
- Students can work with other media materials.
- You can record students reading.
- Families will be encouraged to bring in their cultural and linguistic experiences into the classroom.